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Peeling them off to find what's inside, What's inside. Mighty
few seemed to know, and they never told. Captain Todd
seemed to know. Then, with a flash of discovery as he
remembered Matilda's face, he decided that she knew, too.
But there were few Captains and Matildas. The chances
were you never knew. Just kept on peeling. Like skin off an
onion. And if you stopped you died, or rather, you were
dead already. "We may not win," he said meditatively, and
sucked at his pipe, "but win or lose, we're in up to our
necks now/*

The boy wasn't listening now. He was looking across the
room, The other women were standing, and Lucille Chris-
tian was getting to her feet. The boy got up and moved
quickly across to her, and waited at her side while she told
everyone good-night. Then, when she went out with May
and Matilda, he walked with her as far as the foot of the
stairs. The Senator, who had escorted them all that far,
returned immediately to the room, rubbing his hands to-
gether and saying, "Well, gentlemen, I propose another
sample of the most glorious product of our glorious common-
wealth." He poured the drinks, heavier this time, and turned
to his guests.

"I'll have mine straight," Captain Todd said, "if you
please, You know," he added, picking up a glass, " it's the
man who puts water in his whisky they say gets to be a
chronic drunkard, A man drinks whisky straight and he
knows what he's doing. But whisky and water now, that's
downright insidious. I never allow myself but so much
whisky and water, then I take me a straight one so I can get
a grip on the facts of the case. To that, gentlemen, I attribute
my success in not becoming a chronic drunkard in a world
so liberally strewn, you might say, with temptation."

Mr, Christian squared off before the hearth, his legs spread
apart and his feet dug solidly into the thick rug, and took a
gtilp from Ms glass, "Naw," he declared, "naw, I say ride
It saddle or bareback. No matter if it's a horse or a dog or
whisky or a woman, I say a man's got to wear the pants. All